Yeovil Town 3
(Matt Dolan, Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro, Otis Khan)
Crewe Alexandra 0
Easter has always meant football for me over the past decade. Growing up supporting a Football League club usually meant a home game on Good Friday and an away game on Easter Monday or vice versa.
After the lows of no football on Friday, to the highs of a double header on Saturday, I was off to Yeovil today to watch Crewe Alexandra, and more importantly, to spend a few hours with my dad who was making the long trip down from South Cheshire for the game.
I’ve had mixed fortunes in the handful of Crewe games I have seen this season, Heavy defeats to Wycombe (5-1), Cheltenham (4-1) and Exeter (4-0) are all still very fresh in the memory, however, I have seen them win three times on the road this season, beating the likes of Leyton Orient, Portsmouth and Crawley.
My last two games against Portsmouth and Crawley had put me in good spirits for today’s game, dad on the other hand was far less optimistic, his last game coming in that 4-0 defeat away at Exeter in February.
There is usually a pattern that when I think we may get a win, we lose horrifically and when I think we are going to get battered we sneak a win. Today I was feeling confident and in classic fashion, we got played off the park.
This was my second trip to Huish Park, the first coming nearly four years ago to the day when we lost 1-0 thanks to a Joe Edwards goal which I think secured Yeovil’s spot in the play-offs.
The ground was exactly as I remember, I parked across the road in the housing estate, just a couple of minutes walk away from the ground. I met up with Dad behind one end of the ground by the away supporters bus. The stewards and parking attendants all seemed very friendly and I soon demolished the bag of snacks that Dad had put together for the day.
We still had about 90 minutes until kick off. Dad, who had been at the ground for about 30 minutes before I arrived had already walked around the ground but was happy to do it again. We had a quick look in the club shop and then into the programme shop. What a treasure chest of programmes it was, just a shame I didn’t know what I wanted! There was a marquee type building the other side of the car park, which I was informed, was a fan bar, the ground is a bit of a trek from the town centre so I can imagine it is quite popular.
We got inside the ground, up the corner of the Community stand, and due to the poor away following, the standing terrace behind the goal wasn’t open to Crewe supporters, or any fans for that matter.
The capacity is just shy of 10,000 and I think it is perfect for League Two, compact, mixture of traditional terracing and modern seating, good views with no support beams blocking the line of sight and just a smart, tidy ground.
The terracing behind the goal for the home fans, was pretty full as was the seated stand opposite, slightly less full but fans were spread across the length of the pitch.
It was hard to see how full the Community Stand was but the attendance, just over 3,000, didn’t matter too much on the day, there was little atmosphere throughout regardless of how many people
Unfortunately, both of my trips to Yeovil have ended in defeat to Crewe so that has tarnished my experience somewhat. However like I have already said, Huish Park is a smart and tidy place with friendly people with staff and fans alike.
Yeovil hit three past Crewe in a comfortable win for the Glovers, lifting them above their opposition on goal difference.
Goals from Matt Dolan, Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro and Otis Khan secured the victory for Darren Way’s side, only their 11th win of the season.
The result confirms the double for Town over Crewe this season when Matt Dolan scored the only goal of the game at Gresty Road back in October.
The game got off to a slow start with neither side having any clear-cut chances. Francois Zoko hit a tame shot at Ben Garratt down the middle of the goal for the Alex ‘keeper to save with ease.
Crewe nearly took the lead on 28 minutes when Yeovil goalkeeper Jonny Maddison spilled a routine catch from Callum Cooke’s shot before Swansea loanee Liam Shephard cleared the danger.
The first goal came a minute later when Akpa-Akpro won a soft free kick on the edge of the box. The French striker went down without any real contact but the referee blew his whistle for a high foot from George Ray. The free kick was nudged forward by Khan to Dolan to curl into the top corner with a well-struck shot.
There was a nasty altercation between Zoko and Crewe defender Perry Ng that went unnoticed by officials with the Town striker lunging towards Ng with his head. The conflict continued off the ball and ended in a booking for Zoko who caught Ng late after the young central defender cleared the ball away.
Callum Ainley tried to pull one back for the Railwaymen but his speculative effort went into the hands of Maddison.
It was a frustrating half for Crewe who had managed to keep Yeovil out for much of the game, conceding with their only chance on goal.
The Glovers managed to double the lead in first half injury time when the visitors failed to deal with another set piece. Dolan floated a great ball into the box from the touchline on the left side and Akpa-Akpro stooped to head the ball low into the corner.
David Artell made two changes at the break as Crewe tried to get back into the game, Ryan Wintle and Alex Kiwomya replaced Ray and Cooke.
It was an energetic start for Crewe and they had a chance to pull one back when Chris Dagnall raced through and teed Wintle up to shoot.
Crewe made their final change on the hour mark with George Cooper replacing Ainley, another attacking option as the Reds plotted their comeback.
On 64 minutes Yeovil had the ball in the net for a third time when Akpa-Akpro latched onto Alex Lacey’s cross to knock the ball into the net with his hand. The home fans were going wild and as the scoreboard changed the 3-0, the referee booked the Town player for handball and awarded a free kick.
Six minutes later, Otis Khan wrapped up the victory after Zoko’s header rattled the crossbar before the former Ninja Warrior contestant slotted in the rebound.
It could have been four on 78 minutes when Garratt denied Akpa-Akpro his second of the afternoon after Zoumana Bakayogo slipped to allow the striker a free run at goal.
Despite all of Crewe’s possession in the final moments, they lacked quality in the box and never looked like scoring on a woeful day on the road for the Railwaymen.
2016/17 Games: 122
2016/17 Grounds: 65 (10)
Total Grounds Visited: 155 (41)